Written by U Ne Oo on 2006-01-11
Until recently, the Burmese democracy activists are still puzzling about why the military junta likes to initiate a nuclear program. A third world country Burma, with a dire state of economy where people are barely able survive, why the junta would like to launch such potentially expensive program ? Suppose, by some miracle, these Burmese nuclear physicists -- exclude that one in Adelaide -- are able to make a thermo-nuclear explosive device, how that weapon will be deployed in a battle ? The Burmese Army doesn't have mid- and long-ranged surface to surface missiles. The Burmese Navy don't have any submarine or air-craft carriers. The air force, certainly, doesn't have a stealth bomber. Then, what is the object of Burmese junta treading the nuclear line. Are these junta leaders making fools out of themselves ?
Don't scratch your head too hard, activists ? Here is probably the answer. The North Koreans are blackmailing the Americans to lift economic sanctions, in exchange for a deselerated work on their nuclear program. In this context, the Burmese nuclear program is considered no joke at all.
I think a nuclear program for Burma -- long term or short -- is not about to make any benefit to the country. And certainly dangerous for the ASEAN region as well. The international community should stop this nuclear program at its earliest stages.
Korea: No Talks While US Sanctions Persist
Prensa Latina, Havana
DPRK: No Talks While US Sanctions Persist
Pyongyang, January 3 (Prensa Latina) The Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held Tuesday the US responsible for hindering the continuation of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue for insisting on applying economic sanctions.
"The US should, first of all, lift its sanctions against the DPRK, which is the main hindrance for the negotiations, before talking about the resumption of the talks," Rodong Sinmun daily highlighted in a commentary quoted by the North Korean News Agency.
The article urges the US to take practical steps to fulfill its commitments before asking the DPRK to go back to the negotiations.
In that context, the DPRK has rejected attending talks in Beijing with the US, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia as long as Washignton´s hostile policy continues.
Just before the fifth round of the six-party talks, the US froze the assets of eight North Korean enterprises, under the pretext of "expanding weapons of mass destruction" and "illegal dealing".
The commentary adds the US sanctions violate the commitment envisioned in the joint statement issued September 19 while intensifying hostility between the two countries, causing uncertainty in the prospect of the talks.
US 'Threatened N.Korea with Military Action' Chosun Ilbo (Seoul) - January 5, 2005
U.S. 'THREATENED N.KOREA WITH MILITARY ACTION'
Washington last year threatened North Korea with military action if Pyongyang did not return to six-party talks on its nuclear program, the Sankei Shimbun reported quoting diplomatic sources in the U.S.
The Japanese daily said when tensions over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons peaked in April last year, Washington considered military action if North Korea kept boycotting the multilateral talks.
Sources in Washington said that on April 22, a special envoy of the U.S. State Department delivered the warning to North Korea's UN mission in New York. The envoy explained opinion was split in Washington. While President Bush favored a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were leaning toward military action. The envoy said if the talks collapsed, the president had no choice but to find other alternatives including a military option.
The Sankei said the U.S., to show it was not bluffing, dispatched F117 Stealth fighters that can escape radar detection to their forces in South Korea. The paper said it was only then that North Korea announced it will return. The daily said now the talk of a military option could re-emerge since the North has become reluctant to resume dialogue citing U.S. financial sanctions like the freezing of North Korean firms overseas assets.